Your Subtitle text

WYBS (Pirate)

The History of WYBS (draft)


             WYBS started out as WHCR, a part 15 licensed free broadcaster in Hartford.

Sometime in 1972 the decision was made to crank up the power to exceed the power allowed the FCC’s unlicensed broadcasting rules in order to serve a larger area.  In an attempt to keep from being caught programming standards were tightened and announcers were encouraged to make vague comments on the air implying that the station was affiliated with a college.  Eventually the engineers were able to get about one quarter of a watt out of the transmitter, about 2-1/2 times the legal limit.  This increased the range of the station to about one mile radius.

In 1973 the station acquired a 40 watt Korean war surplus transmitter. In July at that same year the crew of WYBS operated CFR, Concert Free Radio from the Allman Brothers/Grateful Dead concert in Watkins Glen, New York (See Concert Free Radio  link at left).

             During the summer of 1973 WYBS planned to move their operation to a new location on N. Quaker Lane in West Hartford.  Transmitter tests were conducted and the signal from that location was superior and construction got underway on two studios but unfortunately construction was abandoned due to circumstances beyond the control of WYBS.

             In 1975 WYBS commenced operation at 40 watts for twelve hours a day, seven days a week.  The daily schedule ran from 3 pm to 3 am in June, July, August and into September with alternative Rock, Jazz and Classical.

WYBS final broadcasts took place in the summer and fall of 1976.  Broadcasting commenced 12 hours a day, 3 pm to 3 am, in late June, and continued until early September when much of the staff went away to college.  Broadcasting continues on an intermittent basis through early October.  The station signed off for the last time only about two weeks before a new licensed station, WJMJ, came on the air in Hartford on the same 88.9 frequency that had been used by WYBS.  Interestingly it was discovered later that the engineer who built WJMJ lived about a half mile from the WYBS studios.  We will never know if he knew of the existence of WYBS and was waiting until the last minute to tell us to stop using the frequency, or whether he had never bothered to listen to the frequency he was building the new station on.

             A Ten Year WYBS Reunion in 1986 held at 125 Park Road in West Hartford.


WYBS's heavily-modified, Korean-war surplus transmitter on right running 40 watts from a 829B final tube into a turnstyle antenna.  The other equipment includes test and monitoring equipment as well as audio processing equipment.

WYBS Street Team

WYBS "Jock of the Year" 1975

New stereo studio.

A pirate station with a transmitter operating log!

Website Builder